With your vacation time balance near empty from the holidays, rest assured that there are still plenty of adventures to be had nearby. All you need is a weekend to escape to these wintry destinations. Check out a handful of great weekend destinations below.

Hartman Creek State Park, Wisconsin

3.5 hours from Chicago

Photo via Friends of Hartman Creek State Park

Halfway up the state of Wisconsin lies Hartman Creek State Park. With 6 miles of cross-country ski trails and 3.5 miles of snowshoe trails, this park provides plenty of opportunities to sweat out your stress while soaking in the crisp winter air. The relatively flat trails are great for beginners. Snowshoeing and winter hiking can also be enjoyed off-trail, but make sure you avoid walking on the groomed trails. There are several snowmobile trails as well, which are opened at the discretion of the each county.

Click Here for Winter Trail Map

Equipment Rentals

Snow MobilesPower Sports Rental Network for $245/day. Call ahead to reserve yours.
SnowshoesAdventure Outfitters in Waupaca. $15 for one day and  $25 for 3 days
Cross Country SkiAdventure Outfitters in Waupaca. $20 for one day and $35 for 3 days. Lessons available for $25/person.

Park Conditions

Friends of Hartman Creek State Park for the latest trail conditions and park events.

Where to Stay

Ten minutes from the park, the Ramada by Wyndham Waupaca offers a convenient location to both the park and equipment rentals. For a less commercial experience, check out the Lindsay House Bed and Breakfast. At 30 minutes from the park, you’ll have to drive farther, but this cozy B&B provides the perfect environment to warm up after spending a day in the snow.

Potawatomi State Park/Door County

4 hours from Chicago

Photo via Good Free Photos

This park in Door County offers several miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, all of which conveniently start by the picnic area shelter. The XC trails consist of 9 miles of classic groomed trails and 8 miles of skate groomed trails. Winter hikers and snowshoers can explore the park off-trail as long as they do not disturb the groomed trails. Potawatomi also has about 8 miles of snowmobile trails that connect with other park trails.

In addition to Potawatomi, Door County offers numerous other trails, making it a top outdoor destination! Review the links below for more information.

Click Here for Park Map

Click Here for Door County Recreation Activities

Equipment Rentals:

SnowshoesNor Door Sports for $4 for the first hour, $2 for each hour after or $15 per day.
Cross Country SkiNor Door Sports for $13 daily or $28 for 3 days.

Park Conditions

Visit the park’s page for the latest trail conditions and park updates.

Where to Stay

A popular destination, Sturgeon Bay offers many hotels to choose from conveniently located near rentals and trails. The Best Western Maritime Inn offers a great value for a place to crash after hitting the trails. For a cozier option, try Inn at Cedar Crossing. The Inn also has a restaurant onsite, which will reduce the amount of driving and decision-making you’ll have to make.

High Cliff State Park

4 hours from Chicago

Photo via Good Free Photos

Near Appleton, Wisconsin, High Cliff State Park’s groomed cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing options make the perfect escape from Chicago. Snowshoeing is available anywhere in the park except for on groomed trails. A snowmobile trail connects the park to other trails in the area.

Click Here for Park Map

Equipment Rentals

SnowshoesSnowshoes can be rented from the park office during office hours as supplies last. Also available at Bubolz Preserve for $7.
Cross Country SkiWheel and Sprocket in Appleton offers skis for $25 per day, $35 overnight, and $50 for the weekend. Also available at Bubolz Preserve for $15.

Park Conditions

Visit the park’s page for the latest trail conditions and park updates.

Where to Stay

Choosing Appleton as your base provides easy access to the park, dining, and hotel options. The Hampton Inn Appleton-Fox River Mall Area offers free hot breakfast every morning to keep you energized for your outdoor adventures. The nearby Copperleaf Boutique Hotel and Spa provides a more posh experience with granite countertops in the room and a spa onsite.

Huron-Manistee National Forests

4 hours from Chicago

Photo via USFS

Located in the northwestern corner of the lower peninsula, the Huron-Manistee National Forests comprise almost 1 million acres of forest for exploration. Over 100 miles of trails are available to explore via winter hiking or snowshoeing. The six groomed cross country ski trails encompass over 100 miles of available cross country skiing. For a faster way to explore the forests, rent a snowmobile to take advantage of the over 600 miles of snowmobile trails or book a dog sledding tour to race through the trees.

Click Here for Trail Information

Equipment Rentals

SnowshoesBill and Paul’s in Grand Rapids offers snowshoes for rent at $17/day, $34/3 days, and $75 for the full week.
Cross Country SkiBill and Paul’s also has cross country ski sets for $17/day, $34/3 days, and $75 for the full week.
Dog SleddingShemhadar Kennels in Cadillac provide dog sled tours in the area. Rides start at $150 for solo rides and $100 per person for additional riders.

Park Conditions

Visit the park’s page for the latest trail conditions and park updates.

Where to Stay

For easy access to the forests, try Harrington Inn in Fremont. The Hilton Garden Inn in Grand Rapids provides more dining options with a further drive to the forests.

Find Snow Near You

Visit TripLlama.com to find more snowy destinations near you and view up-to-date snow depth estimates provided by the National Weather Service.